Top 10 Pro Stock-Photography Tips

Posted Thursday, 8 February 2007 by Andres Rodriguez in Photography, Inspiration, Interviews
Andres Rodriguez is officially the best-selling microstock photographer in the world, with an ever-expanding and impressively varied portfolio across a range of different stock sites.

An image from Andres portfolio

Here are his top stock-photography tips for anyone who wants to get into, or improve, their photography:

Spend time thinking about your concepts. Study other photographers images in magazines, newspapers, adverts, websites etc., that should give you an idea of what people use. Take notes while researching.
Don't copy other people's work, but get inspired by them.

Always make sure the lighting is right before you start shooting. Even if shooting in natural light, you should ideally wait for the right lighting conditions. Try different setups and see what works best; remember that even lighting is more useful for buyers.

Colours and look
Colourful and attractive images sell better. Aesthetics are important. Remember that stock imaging is not about showing how things are, but how they ideally would look like, so your images should portray the world better than reality.

Learn the rules before you break them; read about the basics of composition, there are plenty of articles online about this particular subject.
Photos are normally more interesting when you shoot them from unusual view points.

Camera settings
Shoot using manual modes on your DSLR. Check your settings, use low ISO to avoid noise. Make sure the white balance, ISO, Aperture and speed settings are correct before pressing the shutter button.
Do you want to show motion or freeze action? Do you want to isolate the subject from the background? Just a few questions you should ask yourself before taking an image.

Post Processing in RAW
To improve your images you normally need to make a few adjustments to make them 'pop'.
Set your camera to Raw format. It doesn’t cost you anything and the outcome from it will nearly always be better than improving an already compressed JPEG image. 
Raw gives you more control as you can change the white balance, improve contrast, tint, reduce/increase shadows, increase/decrease saturation etc ….

Use all your software skills to illustrate your ideas in the best possible way.
Many people, especially traditional photographers, will “put you down” or seem to think less of an image if it has been photoshopped. This is the digital era and not an art gallery, the whole point is to try and represent a concept in the best possible way. If you get it perfect in the camera, that fantastic. Yet, if have to work on it in Photoshop, that's good too! Buyers don’t care they will buy the image if it is what they need no matter how you made it, as long it is a good image.
Remember that any post-processing or montage has to be very well done, otherwise the image will not even pass the review process.

Keywords are extremely important.
No matter how good your image is, if the keywords are bad, your image will not sell or be seen.

Upload only your best images
With digital it is free to get as many photos as you can from a subject so why not do so? If you shoot a lot of photos from different angles and compositions of a subject you are bound to get much better images. Once you have done so choose ONLY your best shots and upload them.
Good quality is always more important than quantity.

If you are reading this it is likely that you are one of those that really want to succeed in this industry. Remember that practice makes perfect.  Set yourself goals, shoot a few images every day and upload constantly, numbers and quality will grow as you go along.

Good luck!

» Check out Andres' Crestock portfolio here

Related posts:

» How to Successfully Launch a Freelance Career
» How to Dramatically Increase Your Image Sales
» Top Ten Bestselling Crestock Contributors

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By poojitha on Friday, 9 February 2007 4:03 PM
Does how many mega pixels camera has matters?i have 2.5 Meg camera with 3x zoom ,can i be a stock photographer?
By khz on Saturday, 10 February 2007 9:36 AM
thnx for the tips Andre, y r both the most selling and most friendly pro stock photographer in the world :)
By gudmund on Monday, 12 February 2007 10:40 AM
Hi Poojitha,
It would be pretty difficult, if not impossible, to get images taken with a 2.5mp camera accepted at stock-libraries. If you plan to submit images for stock, I would strongly recommend getting a digital SLR, which would give you 8-10mp resolution and generally much better image quality than a compact.
Thank you
By creative1 on Monday, 12 February 2007 8:01 PM
I checked out your works Andre, absolutely breathtaking works, and thank you for sharing your success recipe. My best wishes, may you enjoy greater achievement.

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